Kings Gap Environmental Education Center
Kings Gap Environmental Education Center is well known for the four-mile road that winds through its 2,531 acres to the historic Italian villa-style stone mansion atop of South Mountain. Kings Gap focuses on natural and cultural interpretation and education. Lifelong learners will appreciate both self-guided interpretive trails and guided hikes. Kings Gap is free and open year-round, from dawn to dusk. The center offices are open from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday–Friday.
Day Use Areas:
Twenty miles of trails interconnect three main day use areas: Mansion, Pine Plantation and Pond. Begin your journey at the Mansion Day Use Area where center offices and an adjacent education center are located.
Mansion: Be sure to take in the view from the patio, wander through the mansion garden, or hike the Ridge Overlook Trail to the sweeping vista of the Cumberland Valley.
Pond: Traveling back down the mountain,this day use area offers trails that explore this habitat for songbirds, wildflowers, reptiles and amphibians, created by the presence of Kings Gap Hollow Run.
Pine Plantation: Continuing down the road, this area is the site of another trail head, a half-century old conifer forest, and is also a haven for many resident bird species, including owls.
Recreational Guides and Maps:
Things to Do at Kings Gap:
Hiking: Twenty miles of trails provide ample opportunities to explore chestnut oak forests, blueberry patches, and trickling streams, and to encounter wildlife such as a variety of birds, white-tailed deer and eastern box turtle. Trail heads are located at the three day use areas. Sturdy footwear is recommended due to the rock footing on most trails. Trails are well marked but taking a trail map on your hike is strongly recommended.
- Black Gum Trail: 1.1 mile linear trail (more difficult)
- Boundary Trail: 1.5 mile linear trail (most difficult)
- Buck Ridge Trail: 6 mile linear trail from Kings Gap to Pine Grove Furnace (most difficult)
- Cold Spring Overlook Trail: .04 miles (easiest)
- Forest Heritage Trail: 1.8 mile loop (more difficult)
- Kings Gap Hollow Trail: 2.8 mile linear trail (more difficult)
- Locust Point Trail: 1 mile loop (most difficult)
- Maple Hollow Trail: 1.3 mile loop (more difficult)
- Nature Trail: .2 mile loop (easiest)
- Pine Plantation Trail: .6 mile loop (easiest)
- Ridge Overlook: .8 mile linear trail (most difficult)
- Rock Scree Trail: 1.9 mile linear trail (more difficult)
- Scenic Vista Trail: 2.5 mile linear trail (more difficult)
- Watershed Trail: 1.9 mile loop (more difficult)
- Whispering Pines Trail: .3 mile loop (easiest, paved, ADA accessible)
- White Oaks Trail: .3 mile loop (easiest, paved, ADA accessible)
- Woodland Ecology Trail: .6 mile loop (easiest)
Trail Difficulty Ratings: based on technical challenge, not physical exertion.
- Easiest (Interpretive) – Elevation gain or loss is minimal, less than 5% slope, maximum 20% up to 100 feet
- More Difficult – Elevation gain or loss is moderate, less than 12% slope, maximum 30% up to 300 feet
- Most Difficult – Elevation gain or loss is usually severe, less than 18% slope, maximum 30+% up to 500 feet
Things to Do
- Car Shows and Racing
- Family Fun
- Farms & Markets
- Food, Wine & Beer
- Appalachian Trail
- Bike Routes
- Bird Watching
- Colonel Denning State Park
- Disc Golf
- Guided Tours
- Hiking & Biking
- Horseback Riding
- Hunting & ATVs
- Kings Gap
- Nature Explorer
- Parks & Wildlife Area
- Pine Grove Furnace State Park
- Susquehanna River
- Yellow Breeches Creek Water Trail
- Spas & Salons
- The Arts
- Top Things To Do
- Who Are You?